• Share on Facebook
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Linkedin
  • Share by email
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Linkedin
  • Share by email

More than 50 National Portfolio Organisations miss deadline imposed by Arts Council England to register with new data platform that has been beset by delays and glitches.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers logo hanging from the side of a building
PricewaterhouseCoopers were awarded a £1.5m contract to deliver a new audience data platform last year

Howard Lake/Creative Commons

Scores of arts and culture organisations receiving funding through the National Portfolio are facing potential action by Arts Council England (ACE) after missing a deadline to register with Illuminate.

Despite NPOs and IPSOs being informed last month that they will not need to provide box office or audience survey data until next year due to ongoing issues with the platform, ACE required them to register on it by 30 September.

ACE has told Arts Professional that of the 985 organisations making up the 2023-26 National Portfolio, 929 have registered, meaning 56 have not.


In the week leading up to the deadline, the number that had not registered stood at around 100.

A message sent to NPOs last month warned that should they fail to register, a "governance and management risk" would be flagged.

Further interventions

According to the Relationship Framework for the 2023-26 Investment Programme, an organisation's risk level determines whether any changes to its relationship with ACE are required or whether any "further interventions" or "additional conditions" to the funding agreement are necessary.

In a worst-case scenario, an NPO considered to be high risk can have its funding withdrawn.

"We expect the majority of our NPOs to be minor risk," the framework states. 

"Our Relationship Managers will prioritise their National Portfolio time to focus on those organisations we consider carry a major degree of risk to our investment. 

"We will expect to hold conversations with your chair (and other board members, as applicable) as well as with executive officers about action that may need to be taken to mitigate risk. 

"These conversations aim to help you to improve the situation, but if no progress is made, your funding could be at risk."

A spokesperson for ACE said that although more than 50 NPOs are yet to register, it is "very happy" with the level of engagement with Illuminate.

"Over 1,060 organisations have registered overall, including NPOs and IPSOs as well as Creative People and Places, consortia members and other organisations receiving Arts Council funding.

"Organisations that are not yet registered have been sent a reminder, and we are continuing to support them to meet their funding conditions."

Delayed launch

The Illuminate online data collection and analysis platform was scheduled to be up and running on 1 April to coincide with the start of the new National Portfolio for 2023-26, but delays meant it did not launch until June.

But last month, it emerged that NPOs will not be required to provide box office or audience survey data until next year due to ongoing issues.

The contract for data insights work, which The Audience Agency had previously delivered, was put out for tender in April last year. ACE revealed in November that PricewaterhouseCoopers had been selected for the three-year £1.6m contract.

ACE has told Arts Professional that the suspension of reporting requirements will not affect its publication of annual statistics relating to the National Portfolio.

An ACE spokesperson said: "There will be no impact on official statistics or any other data provided to government.  

"The changes announced only affect the deadline for inputting Q1 data into Illuminate - all other deadlines remain the same, and we will have collected a full year's worth of data by the end of June 2024, meaning we will be able to deliver our official statistics as usual."